Valuable e-ra

After seven successful years Audi left Formula E: with two title wins, 14 victories and 47 podiums in a total of 84 races with all-electric drive. Equally valuable as the sporting results is the extensive technical experience gained in this motorsport mission of progress. It will benefit the brand also on its consistent path of being a provider of electric premium mobility going forward.

08/13/2021 Reading Time: 6 min

Audi e-tron FE07 on the racetrack

Season 1 (2014/2015)

First race, first victory

Car races with fully electric vehicles on special circuits in the middle of major cities: In 2014, Formula E opens up this all-new chapter in motorsport history. Audi, with its partners ABT Sportsline and Schaeffler, supports this forward-thinking concept to promote electrified mobility right from the beginning. The brand with the four rings contributes a key success factor to the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team: Lucas di Grassi.


As an Audi factory driver, the Brazilian managed the leap onto the podium twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was a Formula One driver and, above all, involved in the development of the Formula E car and tested it from day one. The open-wheel single-seater racing car features identical technology for all entrants in the inaugural season of the new international championship. At the first-ever E-Prix on the temporary city circuit at Beijing’s Olympic Park on 13 September 2014 the team achieves a sensational result: Lucas di Grassi wins.


In the first four seasons the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries used in Formula E is not sufficient to cover the full racing distance. That’s why every driver has two cars in each race. Especially the switching of the cars electrifies the new, young, urban audiences. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler finishes the 2014/2015 season in the third spot of the teams’ classification. In the drivers’ championship Lucas di Grassi takes third place.  Daniel Abt, who clinched his first Formula E podium – in third – in Miami, finishes the first Formula E season in eleventh.

Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt

Season 2 (2015/2016)

Title hunters

From the second Formula E season onwards, each team is allowed to design and build the powertrain. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler deploys its own combination of electric motor, gearbox and power electronics to the city circuits specifically created for this racing series as well. The output of the motor system increases identically for all participants – from 170 to 200 kW in qualifying and from 150 to 170 kW in the race.


The chassis and the specification battery remain the same for all teams. Due to the limited charging volume, all drivers still have to pit about halfway into the race to switch to their second cars. For the first time the Formula E cars from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler are fielded under a model name of their own: ABT Schaeffler FE01. They’re driven by the Brazilian-German pairing Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt. In Long Beach both mount the podium together for the first time – di Grassi as the winner, Abt in third. In Berlin the German, as runner-up, claims a podium finish ahead of the third-placed South American for the first time.


Up until the finale in London Lucas di Grassi, who in 2015/2016 wins three E-Prix and achieves a podium finish on four other occasions, maintains his chances of winning the drivers’ title. In the end, the duel with his constant rival Sébastien Buemi ends in favour of the Swiss by just a very narrow margin. Di Grassi is lacking two points. Thanks to second place overall, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler finishes the team’s classification runner-up as well.


Season 3 (2016/2017)


In Season 3 the technical ground rules in Formula E remain untouched. At Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler the fully electric powertrain is subjected to further detailed development. The Formula E team – still the only German outfit – changes the model-name of its cars accordingly: ABT Schaeffler FE02. Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt are the drivers again. In its third season Formula E has added four new attractive cities to its calendar: Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Montreal and New York City.


Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler shines with enormous consistency during this world tour. Lucas di Grassi’s fightbacks in Hong Kong and Mexico City remain unforgotten. “What a victory!” the Brazilian rejoices at the podium ceremony in Mexico. Following a collision on lap one he was not at fault in, di Grassi had to have the rear wing changed. In spite of running in last place afterwards he finishes in first. “I managed the perfect mix of attack and defence, of using energy and managing energy,” he says.


At the finale in Montreal the experienced driver from São Paulo crowns his season: at the first Canadian E-Prix consisting of a double-header Lucas di Grassi converts a ten-point deficit into an 18-point advantage and surprisingly becomes drivers’ champion. “That’s the well-deserved reward for our unique team spirit and fighting spirit at Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler,” says the utterly exemplary teammate. In the teams’ classification Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler claims second place just like in the previous season.

Audi e-tron FE04 on the racetrack

Season 4 (2017/2018)

The best team

In Formula E Season 4 Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler becomes an Audi factory team. As a result, the brand with the four rings is the first German car manufacturer to be involved in the increasingly attractive and acknowledged all-electric racing series with comprehensive technical power. Setbacks in promising positions mark the team’s first half of the season.  


In Mexico City Daniel Abt’s first victory becomes a turning point. “Being the first German driver in Formula E and the first to win for the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler factory team is simply mega,” rejoices Abt. His home round at the former Berlin-Tempelhof airport becomes an even more memorable event for him: pole position, fastest race lap, first place and second for his teammate, Lucas di Grassi. “This has definitely been the most important victory and most incredible day in my driver career so far”! says Abt. That goes without saying because more points cannot be won at an E-Prix event.


But things get even better at the Brazilian-German pairing’s fightback in the Audi e-tron FE04 which, compared to the previous season, now has a maximum power output of 180 instead of 170 kW: thanks to a one-two win and a double podium in the two final races in New York City Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt secure the first Formula E teams’ title for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. On top of that, di Grassi claims the runner-up’s spot for the second time after 2015/2016.


Season 5 (2018/2019)

Continuing to charge ahead

Starting in Season 5, Formula E puts its second-generation specification car on the grid. The chassis of the Gen2 car is again provided by the specialised manufacturer Spark. The MGU03 motor-generator unit jointly developed by Audi and technology partner Schaeffler continues to be optimised. It consists of the motor, inverter, gearbox, parts of the rear suspension plus the related software.


95 per cent of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s powertrain is new. In addition, ten per cent of weight is saved compared to the previous model. Thanks to better battery capacity Formula E now uses only one car per driver, eliminating the previously required car changes halfway into the 45-minute racing distance.


Title defender Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler again delivers gripping racing brimming with variety – from the heat record E-Prix in Santiago de Chile to the Paris event in pouring rain and hail. Twice again Lucas di Grassi is the big winner under the banner of the four rings: in Mexico City, where the Brazilian charges from second place to first on the final meters, and in Berlin, where he secures another home triumph for the factory team.


With ten podium finishes, one pole position and eight extra points for the fastest race lap, the Audi e-tron FE05 that’s fielded by the new Audi customer team Envision Virgin Racing as well is the most successful Formula E car of the season. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler takes second place in the teams’ and di Grassi third in the drivers’ classification.

Audi e-tron FE06 on the racetrack

Season 6 (2019/2020)

Special challenges

Like everywhere in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic confronts the Formula E Championship with new, unexpected challenges: all cars grind to a halt after the first five races of the sixth season. An adjusted, highly compact calendar is the solution to enable the crowning of a champion after all. That’s how Berlin gets to host one of the most unusual Formula E events so far: within the space of nine days six races are held at a single venue. Three different track layouts on the former Berlin city airport Tempelhof provide variety.


Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler tackles this final challenge with the first change to its driver pairing in the six years of Formula E: now DTM Champion René Rast is driving the Audi e-tron FE06 alongside Formula E Champion Lucas di Grassi. The car’s technology has been further developed in just minor details for the 2019/2020 season. Instead, the exterior design is clearly more aggressive than that of the previous car: ample visible carbon fibre, conspicuous bright orange and accentuated lines across the entire bodywork.


With three podium finishes, two of them clinched in Berlin (di Grassi and Rast in third, respectively), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler finishes the season in sixth place. A total of 43 times in the top three spots continue making the team one of the most successful ones in Formula E history. In addition, Lucas di Grassi, with 32 podiums and 796 points under his belt, heads the list of the best drivers.


Season 7 (2021)

New powertrain for the world championship

In 2021 Formula E is awarded FIA world championship status. Due to the pandemic, the fully electric racing series does not start its seventh season shortly before the end of the year as usual but only at the end of the following February. Diriyah and Berlin are the venues of the opening and final events. Audi is pitted against BMW, Mercedes and Porsche in close competition. 


The new Audi e-tron FE07 is the racing car. The motor-generator unit of the open-wheel single-seater that has been fundamentally re-developed by Audi is its centrepiece. The fully electric powertrain named MGU05 was designed at Audi Sport’s Motorsport Competence Center in Neuburg an der Donau. The maximum permissible power output is 250 kW in qualifying and 200 kW in the race. In the Mexican E-Prix in Puebla Lucas di Grassi and René Rast clinch a one-two win in the Audi e-tron FE07 that achieves a top speed of up to 240 km/h. In third place, di Grassi celebrates another podium finish in New York City and crowns Audi’s final season in Formula E with a victory at the finale in Berlin.

Formel E

Audi e-tron FE07 on the racetrack

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